Relationship is Over But Won't Mess Up Our Kids - Heartbroken and Looking for Help - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-24-2016, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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Relationship is Over But Won't Mess Up Our Kids - Heartbroken and Looking for Help

I have been with my husband for eight years and I think our relationship is nearly over. The thing is, we don't fight or argue. There is no abuse. We were once insanely in love. Now, we just don't talk about anything really other than the kids or what we are making for dinner. We have a ten year old with developmental delays (my son from a previous relationship) and severe behavioral problems and a toddler who is nearly a year and a half, and seems to be developmentally on track. Or oldest child causes a ton of stress, but we have dealt with it since the beginning of our relationship, which was very good for the first six years. Now, everything is crappy and I am simply no longer happy.

We have had rocky patches throughout our relationship, but there were always a lot more good than bad. My second pregnancy with my daughter was planned, but the pregnancy itself was rough. I was very sick and had blood pressure problems. This is when I started noticing a problem. My husband seemed more annoyed than comforting with my sickness. I could barely eat or get out of bed for the first five months and it was like he thought I was just being a baby. I am super active and love being outside, so this was a miserable period of my life. Then I had my daughter and we were both enamored with her. The first few weeks, my husband seemed happy and it felt like our relationship was on the rebound. I was wrong.

If has been 17 months since our daughter was born and I feel there absolutely nothing positive in my relationship with my husband. He used to give me massages and foot rubs at least a couple times a month. He hasn't given me a massage in over six months and it was probably another six months before that the last time he gave me one. What's even worse, is he doesn't even hold my hand or hug me. He might tight-lipped kiss me in the morning before he goes to work, but that is it for kissing. We used to have sex several times a day in the very beginning of our relationship, then it evened out to at least once or twice a week over time. Now, we have pretty much no sex. What annoys me is that we just took a family vacation and he was sure to bring condoms, and made a joking comment about how many we should bring for our five day trip. The idea of having sex while in a beautiful hotel on vacation sounded like a nice change until I realized he barely said a word to me the first two days of the trip and didn't touch me either. He just expected that I would be in the mood without having to pay any attention to me whatsoever.

I have zero sex drive now. None. I am healthy and physically fit. I am in great shape and work out four times a weeks. So, I went to the doctor about having no sex drive. She did blood work and took a questionnaire. She asked me lots of questions. The blood work came back normal. The doctor said I was in great shape and since I am only 30, there is no physical or hormonal reason for my lack of sex drive. She actually said "Maybe your husband just isn't doing the necessary things to turn you on". I think she is right.

My husband comes home late from work every day. He used to take me to lunch once a week. He hasn't asked me to lunch in six or seven months. When he comes home, he jumps on the computer and reads reddit for hours and will spend an additional several hours online gaming with his friends. He comes out to eat dinner, but doesn't want to sit at the table with the kids. Occasionally, he will come sit in the living room when I am out here, but he has his phone in his hand the whole time. When we take a trip anywhere, long or short, I usually drive while he looks at his phone silently the entire time. We have access to babysitters at no cost (grandparents), but we don't go on dates. While I work VERY hard and staying healthy and attractive, he has totally let himself go. He claims that he no longer drinks soda and watches what he eats, but I just cleaned his car and found tons of fast food receipts containing Large Cokes, shakes and four burritos from the fast food joint. He has developed a prominent "beer-gut" and double chin. Physicality isn't the only thing that matters, but I hate that he lies to me about food and seems to not care if I am attracted to him. I have stayed quite attractive over the years, but he has gone downhill.

Another thing about the sex situation. After saying nothing more than a few sentences to me over three days, he will come open the shower curtain and grope me while I am showering. It pisses me off. We used to do flirtatious things like that all the time and it was silly and sometimes sexy. Now, I literally have to bite my tongue because my instinct is to yell "Get the f*** away from me". I am incredibly offended that he doesn't care to spend any time with me during the day, but wants to ogle my naked body, expecting me to invite him in the shower. It's like "You haven't talked to me all day. It is 11pm. You have been online gaming with your buddies for the last three hours. I have cared for the house and children all day with no help and no appreciation. We haven't kissed or hugged in two days, but sure! I would just LOVE to have five minutes of sex and am perfectly fine with the fact that you will go right back on the computer to game for the next two hours without saying another word to me".

I miss our relationship. We were so happy and such good friends for a long time. I miss the conversations, the dates, watching movies, cuddling, playing board games, going on walks and just enjoying each other. I have always thought that people staying together for the kids was a cop out, but I can't imagine screwing up my kids’ lives. I couldn't live with that. At the same time, I am in an emotionally and physically starved marriage where we both seem miserable. I don't want any other man, but I also don't want my husband the way things are. My life is void of adult conversation and a deep connection to my partner. I don't know what to do...

Can anyone give some insight, or maybe share your similar situation? What would/did you do? Again, I won't divorce and screw up my kids because they love their parents equally and are very happy children. What did/would you do in a situation where the relationship is over, but you won't leave because of the kids?

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-24-2016, 01:58 PM
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Re: Relationship is Over But Won't Mess Up Our Kids - Heartbroken and Looking for Hel

If you are saying that you WILL NOT leave because of your children, than all anyone can recommend is talking honestly and openly with him. If you want things to work, think about marriage counseling; or if he refuses to go, try individual therapy.
I've been in individual therapy for about 3 months now and it's taught me A LOT about how to communicate with my husband, who can be shut down and closed off a lot of the time, too.

If you don't want to have sex with him, than don't. And explain to him that you need an emotional connection before getting intimate; that's not an insane request. I'm certainly not interested in sleeping with my husband after being ignored for so long. Start bringing up the old times, the good times, try to talk about those times with him, see if he sparks up or enjoys the memories.. see where that conversation gets you both.

If he refuses to fix things, I think you should consider the idea of moving on. I am a child of divorce, and yes it was hard at the time, but now as an adult, I can see why my parents split, and I'm sure as hell glad that they did. If they hadn't, theirs AND my life would have been far far uglier than it ended up. I have a strong relationship with BOTH parents and see them both often. They both see my kids.. we're now at the point where we can all get together for Christmas dinner (step parents and all).. it's hard, but it's worth it in the end.

Good luck!!
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-24-2016, 02:17 PM
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Re: Relationship is Over But Won't Mess Up Our Kids - Heartbroken and Looking for Hel

Since you are going to stay, maybe try taking the lead.

Invite him to go to lunch. Plan date nights yourself. Don't wait for him to do everything. This is of benefit to all of you, kids included. Rededicate yourself to the marriage. Maybe when he sees how hard you are trying, he will try harder too.

If you are staying no matter what...then at least make the stay as pleasant as possible.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-24-2016, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Relationship is Over But Won't Mess Up Our Kids - Heartbroken and Looking for Hel

Let me clarify just a bit. I won't leave YET, but I am reaching my breaking point. The idea of my kids having to go one place to see mom and another to see dad makes my heart sink. At the same time, I can't put up with this forever. I am not going to be ignored for the rest of my life. It is making me miserable. It is making me angry.

The major issues started during my pregnancy, so it has been nearly two years of dealing with a messed up relationship. We have had problems before and are great communicators, but this time things have drug on longer than ever before and neither of us say anything about it. This is what worries me. We used to be able to talk things out. These last two years, it is blatantly apparent there is something wrong, but for the first time ever, neither of us will say anything. I just sit around feeling angry and lonely, and he dedicates all his time to work and friends. This is also the first time in this relationship that I don't WANT to talk about things. I feel like everything I am feeling and everything I have to say to him I have already felt and said 20 times before. Things keep reverting back to being crappy. I don't know how I have let things go on like this for so long...

I have brought up date ideas, weekend trip ideas, new restaurants to try. We used to play board games and console games together and for the last several months I will say "I really liked playing that such-and-such game with you. We need to play that again sometime". When I bring up these things, his response is usually "Yeah" or "I know" and that is the end of it. I have also casually mentioned that we never just talk or hold hands or cuddle anymore and he usually just makes a joke or blames it on having kids. In my eyes, he simply no longer likes me. A few weeks ago, our toddler fell in the yard while I was playing with her and injured her hand. We ran her to the ER where she ended up needing to be knocked out and have stitches. I cried (not hysterically, but my heart was hurting for my girl) from the time we got to the ER until we got home. Not once did he say "It's ok" or hug me or rub my back or anything. He sat on the opposite side of the room and would barely look at me, as if he was angry/disgusted with me. He has become cold.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-24-2016, 02:53 PM
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Re: Relationship is Over But Won't Mess Up Our Kids - Heartbroken and Looking for Hel

Is his phone locked?

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-24-2016, 02:59 PM
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Re: Relationship is Over But Won't Mess Up Our Kids - Heartbroken and Looking for Hel

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Originally Posted by whatwouldyoudo View Post
I have brought up date ideas, weekend trip ideas, new restaurants to try. We used to play board games and console games together and for the last several months I will say "I really liked playing that such-and-such game with you. We need to play that again sometime". When I bring up these things, his response is usually "Yeah" or "I know" and that is the end of it. I have also casually mentioned that we never just talk or hold hands or cuddle anymore and he usually just makes a joke or blames it on having kids. In my eyes, he simply no longer likes me. A few weeks ago, our toddler fell in the yard while I was playing with her and injured her hand. We ran her to the ER where she ended up needing to be knocked out and have stitches. I cried (not hysterically, but my heart was hurting for my girl) from the time we got to the ER until we got home. Not once did he say "It's ok" or hug me or rub my back or anything. He sat on the opposite side of the room and would barely look at me, as if he was angry/disgusted with me. He has become cold.
Consider doing more than suggesting things. Plan the date, arrange the grandparents to babysit, and go on your date. Plan the weekend trip. Hold his hand. Kiss him. Snuggle him. Comfort him in stressful times. Lead by example. Maybe he is sitting there wondering why you don't do any of those things to him. Maybe you are both sitting back waiting for the other to do these things. How sad it would be to throw this away because neither of you took the lead.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-24-2016, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Relationship is Over But Won't Mess Up Our Kids - Heartbroken and Looking for Hel

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Originally Posted by farsidejunky View Post
Is his phone locked?

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His phone is not locked, by he is in the IT field. He can do things with a phone and computer I have never seen anyone else do. If you are wondering if perhaps he is doing something behind my back, like an affair, I would never know. He is very intelligent and far too smart when it comes to electronic devices to leave any sort of electronic trail. I doubt he is cheating, but the idea has popped up in my head periodically over the last few months. I have thought that since he comes home from work late almost every day, has stopped taking me out and seems to want nothing to do with me, maybe there could be someone else. At the same time, I don't think he is doing that.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-24-2016, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Relationship is Over But Won't Mess Up Our Kids - Heartbroken and Looking for Hel

One more thing: When I say he doesn't talk to me or pay me attention, I would like to clarify that we aren't both sitting their silently all the time. I try talking to him every day. I talk about the kids, about my day, about interesting happenings or news articles I read that I think he would enjoy. Believe it or not, I am a really bubbly person, so I make jokes and silly comments all the time. He doesn't even make eye contact when I talk to him half the time. I get one word answers and, in all seriousness, he has literally walked away while I was mid-sentence and went to his office. Maybe I am no longer trying, but it is hard to want to try when I feel like he doesn't even respect me enough anymore to wait until I finish a thought before walking away from me.

I agree with the PP who said " How sad it would be to throw this away because neither of you took the lead." At the same time, I don't know how to get over the anger, frustration and sadness I feel in order to, yet again, try to get things back on track. I get that I should be "the bigger person", but I don't recall a single instance in our entire relationship where things were spiraling downward and he was the one to take the first step. He would always acknowledge that there was a problem and he was well aware, but only after I said something. I guess I am tired of always being the one who takes the first step and I have always been the one to plan dates and trips. I am worn down. I am beginning to feel like a fool. Like maybe I have always cared more and tried harder than he does. Basically, I am wondering if this relationship really means anything to him.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-24-2016, 03:50 PM
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Re: Relationship is Over But Won't Mess Up Our Kids - Heartbroken and Looking for Hel

You should ask him.. just like that.. " What does this relationship mean to you? Because I feel like you don't even like me; and I'm considering a life without you in it"
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-24-2016, 03:59 PM
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Re: Relationship is Over But Won't Mess Up Our Kids - Heartbroken and Looking for Hel

Yes, what does he say when you tell him all of this?

There are some people who, once they are married, just stop putting any effort whatsoever into anything, because that's all they want. They have their spouse, their job, their house, their kids, and that's as far as it goes - they just coast from then on, figuring they've done the work now it's time to just sit back and soak in life.

About cheating - I never for one second seriously thought my husband was cheating. Not for one second. Till I found the emails proving he was. Every single person who knows my husband has said he was the absolute LAST person they ever would have thought would cheat. What does he do if you look at his phone?

As for the kids - well, of course it's not ideal to split, but if the alternative is for you to be unhappy, they will know you are and learn that it's ok to live like that. You certainly don't want them spending their lives miserable like you are!

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-24-2016, 07:25 PM
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Re: Relationship is Over But Won't Mess Up Our Kids - Heartbroken and Looking for Hel

I gather from your post that you feel like intimacy is lacking in the marriage....the hand holding, massages, the hugs, talks, sincere compliments and time spent together. Husband either doesn't want these or does not need them but wants sex. Because you need the intimacy to feel close you feel like a sexual object because he is not offering the intimacy. Is this correct? Have you talked to your husband about this? Is there any thoughts your husband could be cheating or caught up emotionally with another women or keeping his thoughts preoccupied with porn?

As far as feeling you cannot split up your family. I stayed in a marriage where my husband was emotionally unavailable like you have described here....addicted to porn and seeking the attention of other women. I did not want to hurt by kids by splitting up the family but I finally realized I had to get out and save myself. We were married 24 years, my daughters took it well and have been understanding. If your husband is seeing as a sexualy on=bject and seeking other women for the same and is not interested in you for the person you are, staying is only going to be hurtful for you.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-24-2016, 09:37 PM
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Re: Relationship is Over But Won't Mess Up Our Kids - Heartbroken and Looking for Hel

For whatever reason, your husband has disengaged. That could be the result of cheating but it might not. It's difficult to tell at this point.

Some men never lead. They look to their wives to do that (and some wives are happy to do it although some of us who had to do it definitely weren't happy about it). So it's time for a very serious -- very blunt -- discussion. Sometimes it takes a lot to get through to someone just how serious things are.

And when you do get through to him, either he'll care enough to start fixing it or he won't. If he doesn't try, then at some point the tough decisions begin. But assume for now he will want to fix it and go from there. A lot of work is obviously ahead but it can be done.
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